Egypt Picture - Apse in the Church of St. Mercurius

Apse in the Church of St. Mercurius

Apse in the Church of St. Mercurius




Apse in the Church of St. Mercurius


The church was founded probably in the seventh century and dedicated to St. Mercurius, a Roman officer belonging to a noble family, who underwent martyrdom for having vigorously defended the Christian religion. According to an old tradition, an angel appeared to him and gave him a second sword (whence his name Abu al-Seifein, "the one with the two swords") as a symbol of his energy in the defense and diffusion of Christianity. Iconography represents St. Mercurius in his armor, on horseback, and with two swords drawn and crossed above his head as he tramples on the emperor Julian the Apostate. His body is said to have been brought from Palestine to Old Cairo in the fifteenth century.

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